Kosciusko, Mississippi – December 11, 2018
A few years ago, Ivey Mechanical Co., based in Kosciusko, Miss., saw its vehicle accidents rising. The company’s fleet of more than 400 vehicles includes ½- and ¾-ton pickups, ¾-ton service vans, and passenger vehicles. Because of the increase in accidents, the company’s CEO asked the IT department to find a way to minimize distracted driving.
To solve the problem, the IT department educated its drivers on the dangers of distracted driving by updating its electronic use policy to include wording specific to device use while driving, including the perils of using a phone or other device while driving, as well as anything else that would require them to take their eyes off the road. It then implemented a distracted driving program.
“As a tool to discourage the use of a phone other than on Bluetooth using voice commands, we use a distracted driving program, LifeSaver, to monitor compliance of our distracted driving policy,” said Luther Burrell, vice president of Administration and IT at Ivey Mechanical.
IT went office by office, installed the LifeSaver app, and educated its safety officers in each office on how to use the software portal and reporting for monitoring violations. The company’s safety officers get daily and weekly activity reports of violators for the previous day and week. These reports are used to identify repeat offenders, as well as determine disciplinary action.
Following the implementation of the program, not only did the behavior and attitudes of the drivers change, the number of at-fault accidents in the fleet decreased significantly, according to Burrell.
“As a result of fewer at-fault accidents, this past year we were rewarded for our efforts in a reduction of our driving liability rates,” he stated.
The program’s success was directly tied to obtaining management’s buy-in. “When implementing a distracted driving initiative, it is imperative to have the support and backing of all levels of management within the organization,” Burrell said. “Without it, the program is doomed for failure.”